In January of 2015, Farriss had been on the water in Pittwater Bay in a hired boat when his left ring finger was caught in the boat’s anchoring equipment, severing it completely. “I don’t know if I will be able to play properly again,” the guitarist was quoted as saying at the time.
In 2019, it was revealed that Farriss would be pursuing legal action against John William Axford and Jill Mary Axford of Church Point Charter.
“I will never forget what I saw next as long as I live,” Farriss claimed in his statement for the case. “My hand was covered in rust, blood and mud, but I could see one of my fingers had been severed and the others were disfigured, badly lacerated and bleeding.”
“I find my reattached ring finger to be an annoyance and unsightly,” he concluded. “I have considered having it amputated,” Farriss continued. “I am no longer able to play guitar other than a few beginner-level chords.”
In recent months, further details emerged about the impact that it had upon Farriss, with the guitarist explaining that he had been left “unsurprisingly depressed” and forced into retirement as a result of the injury.
In response to the lawsuit, John Turnbull SC, who appeared for the defendants, said that his clients would argue that “ultimately there was a risk of harm, but not to a person acting reasonably”.
“Our case is there was no damage – at some point, Mr Farriss must have loosened the clutch and he stepped on the up button, or perhaps the down button,” Turnbull added, noting that “alternative options” were available and that “a reasonable person would not have been injured if they had exercised reasonable care”.
Now, following a ruling handed down today by NSW Supreme Court Justice R Cavanagh that found in favour of the defendants, Farriss has issued an official statement responding to the ‘disappointing’ result of the case.
“Irrespective of the outcome today, I undertook this matter to bring awareness to a very dangerous situation and to ensure other families do not have to endure or witness such a devastating accident,” Farriss explained.
“Needless to say I am very disappointed with the judgement and am looking at my options.”
The lawsuit had seen Farriss claiming both damages and a future loss of income, having previously told the Sydney court that INXS may potentially have had a future without former singer Ciaran Gribbin had he not suffered the career-ending injury.